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Proceedings Paper

Multi-rate DPSK optical transceivers for free-space applications
Author(s): D. O. Caplan; J. J. Carney; J. J. Fitzgerald; I. Gaschits; R. Kaminsky; G. Lund; S. A. Hamilton; R. J. Magliocco; R. J. Murphy; H. G. Rao; N. W. Spellmeyer; J. P. Wang
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Paper Abstract

We describe a flexible high-sensitivity laser communication transceiver design that can significantly benefit performance and cost of NASA's satellite-based Laser Communications Relay Demonstration. Optical communications using differential phase shift keying, widely deployed for use in long-haul fiber-optic networks, is well known for its superior sensitivity and link performance over on-off keying, while maintaining a relatively straightforward design. However, unlike fiber-optic links, free-space applications often require operation over a wide dynamic range of power due to variations in link distance and channel conditions, which can include rapid kHz-class fading when operating through the turbulent atmosphere. Here we discuss the implementation of a robust, near-quantum-limited multi-rate DPSK transceiver, co-located transmitter and receiver subsystems that can operate efficiently over the highly-variable free-space channel. Key performance features will be presented on the master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA) based TX, including a wavelength-stabilized master laser, high-extinction-ratio burst-mode modulator, and 0.5 W single polarization power amplifier, as well as low-noise optically preamplified DSPK receiver and built-in test capabilities.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 March 2014
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 8971, Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXVI, 89710K (25 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2057570
Show Author Affiliations
D. O. Caplan, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
J. J. Carney, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
J. J. Fitzgerald, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
I. Gaschits, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
R. Kaminsky, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
G. Lund, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
S. A. Hamilton, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
R. J. Magliocco, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
R. J. Murphy, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
H. G. Rao, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
N. W. Spellmeyer, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)
J. P. Wang, MIT Lincoln Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8971:
Free-Space Laser Communication and Atmospheric Propagation XXVI
Hamid Hemmati; Don M. Boroson, Editor(s)

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